Thursday, July 01, 2004

My friend Elaine, the woman I usually refer to as "The Redhead", runs a bar and restaurant in Sanford, Otters, and is the lady who usually feeds me, tells me to shut up, and otherwise keeps me in sort of line. It's part of the marina where I usually keep my sailboat home. Anyhow... she's gone for a week visiting relatives in the frozen north, and I've been cast loose to wreak havoc on the hired help... in this case, the replacement bartender: a yummy bit of pastry named Courtney, 25, faintly reminiscent of a young Norma Jean only smarter... college grad from a Hospital Admin program in the college I used to teach at, piddling along tending bar rather than settling down with a "real" job. In other words, just my type, but way way too young for an old dog like me and I'm afraid I know it just as well as she does so there's no sense in even trying to make a hit. Besides, Elaine would kill both of us and I know it. Anyhow --

I'm sitting there about to put myself around one of Otter's famous fruit salads (low cal? you gotta be kidding!) watching CNN on the cable in the bar. All of the action is outside where there's another whole bar beside the pool that is part of the restaurant. Did I tell you that this is a nice place? It is.

"Bob... whatcha think of this deal with Saddam?"

"I think that it's going as planned."

Somebody else.... she points to a half sloshed older guy slumped over a New York Iced Tea at the end of the bar. "Phil, what did you say about Saddam?"

"I said they should hang him up by his sack and put it on TV."

"You agree with that?" Courtney is a bright girl but is not above egging a couple of old boat dogs on. Another customer, about four sheets to the wind, chimes in with something similar suggestion that involves rusty chainsaws and Tabasco.

"Well, none of these guys have ever actually taken a life so I doubt if they have the stomach for any real vivisection."

"Yeah? Smart ass. What the effin heck is viviwhatsis?" The guy beside my friend Phil turns to him and waves his draft in my direction.

I conciliate: "Does he have it coming? You bet. Do I want to be the guy to pull the switch? Nope. I just wish the guy would leave in a hurry and don't mess up the sheets. I like the way his sons went out... fast and without any court of appeals. The way these "trials against war crimes" usually go, we'll still be fuming about the jerk when Courtney here actually finishes her Masters degree and leaves the business of libido massaging to become a hospital administrator."

"Uh... Ick.. I think"

That shut her up. My dad used to say that sex and politics are both topics that should be kept out of barrooms. Hmmm.... yeah.

Elaine... you need to come home.